LG Optimus Chic Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone. It can be used with T-Mobile USA andAT&T, but without 3G.


The new Optimus line of LG handsets was announced in the summer with the precondition that it will include no less than ten devices by year end, both Android and Windows Phone 7. There is even an Optimus Pad tablet rumored to be in the works, as well as a top of the line dual-core smartphone.

The LG Optimus Chic was one of the two handsets announced simultaneously in the first press release about the Optimus line, and its alleged virtues were that it will look good, and run Android 2.2 from the start. Well, fast forward a few months, and the Froyo-blessed handset is in our hands for a review, so let's give it a chance to prove just how chic it is...


The streamlined design of the LG Optimus Chic is indeed a looker – entirely black with a chrome-like rim surrounding the phone is always classy. There are no sharp edges, just smooth curves both in the corners, and on the back. The plastic feels a bit cheap, we've come to expect soft-touch coating in well designed handsets, but we guess LG wanted to keep the phone glossy all around, so as to justify the “Chic” moniker.

You can compare the LG Optimus Chic with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The black rectangular slab feels a bit on the heavy side in the hand, and is of average size, despite that the screen is not large. A 3.2” LCD screen is modest for today's standard, and comes at 320x480 pixels of resolution on the LG Optimus Chic. Underneath it are the four traditional Android buttons – menu, home, back and search, which seem capacitive, but are rather finicky, and require significant pressure to register a touch. It's probably the main gripe we have with the hardware.

LG has kept it simple around the handset, with just a volume rocker on the right, protected microUSB port on the left, and the standard audio jack placed on the top. The lock/power button is also placed at the top, but is tiny, hard to distinguish, and takes getting used to. The only elements on the back are the round opening for the 5MP camera, as well as the LG logo.

The LG Optimus Chic has a simple and elegant design, which might have earned it the appreciation of the fashion-conscious crowd, if it wasn't a bit bland, but appearances are subjective anyway.

LG Optimus Chic 360-degree View:

Interface, Messaging and Functionality:

Froyo brings with it numerous additional features, compared to its Android 2.1 predecessor, and also a lot of resource optimizations under the hood. The 600MHz Qualcomm chipset in the LG Optimus Chic scored 503 on the Quadrant synthetic benchmark test, which is ho-hum for a Froyo handset, but on par with the other chipsets of this speed.

The interface is snappy and simple, LG has gone with rather stock looks – most everything aside from the dock on the homescreens, is directly taken from Froyo, which is a good thing, as Android is mature enough to be used as is, and still have one of the best touchscreen interface experiences. The homescreens can be populated with the standard widgets for news, weather, social feeds, and some more. 

The social networking integration in the contacts application allows for bringing in people from your Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Gmail and Exchange accounts. It is smooth, but not as deep as in TouchWiz 3.0, or HTC Sense. On the other hand, you can pick and choose who of your online acquaintances to integrate into your phonebook. There is smart dialing in the dialpad screen, quickly guessing which contact you are trying to reach, without having to enter the full name.

The default keyboard is Android's virtual QWERTY in both portrait and landscape modes, but it lags a bit when registering a touch, compared to other handsets we’ve reviewed, which might be a matter of calibration.

The messaging and email apps are excellent, especially if you are a Gmail user, of course, as Google keeps improving on its features for mobile. The LG Optimus Chic is a bit light on preinstalled productivity applications, since there is always Android market, but it does come with ThinkFree Office for document editing and file browsing.

Internet and Connectivity:

The LG Optimus Chic browser doesn't work with Adobe Flash 10.1, just Flash Lite, so Flash-only websites and streaming such video are still a forbidden fruit. Other than that scrolling, panning and zooming is smooth, the browser has a simple, functional interface, and renders JavaScript extremely fast. The handset has a full set of connectivity options, such as 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS and FM radio. The GPS chip took four minutes to localize us at cold boot, and mere seconds afterwards.

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Camera and Multimedia:

The camera interface thatLG uses is intuitive, and gives you a lot of settings adjustments, suchas ISO, white balance, exposure and several color effects. Of note isthe abundance of shot modes – Continuous, Smile, Beauty, Art, Panorama,Face effect and Cartoon. The pictures outsidehave correct colors, good focus, and the camera captures enough detailfor a 5MP shooter. It struggled in low light, making the outcome noisy,but not unlike most other phone cameras we’ve seen. The phone coulddefinitely benefit from a flash, but if you hold the handset steady,the results are passable, even when it’s fairly dark.

The LG Optimus Chic captures VGA video at 30fps, which comes out smooth and detailed for the resolution. The default multimedia gallery for this version of Android is left intact, with nice 3D effects while swiping around in your pics and vids collection.

LG Optimus Chic Sample Video:

The stock music player iswell-rounded, with numerous track sorting and visualizationfunctionalities. The earpiece serves as a loudspeaker, like with mostLG handsets lately – it is of decent volume, but the base sounds arenot that deep.

Codec support isrich right out of the box – the LG Optimus Chic supports the standardMPEG-4 format, but also adds DivX/Xvid to the mix, for a smooth play upto the screen’s resolution, and a tad more.


As a phone the LG Optimus Chic performs above average, and we were hearing the incoming calls loud and clear, but a bit hollow sounding. On the other side we were heard well and without any noticeable distortion. The 1250mAh battery is rated for 5.5 hours of talk time when 3G connectivity is turned on.


Aimed at the fashion-conscious consumer, the LG Optimus Chic has an appealing design with its glossy black plastic body, surrounded by a chrome-like subtle rim. What takes some points out of the design is the weight, and the fact that the touch buttons underneath the screens require significant pressure to operate properly.

The Froyo experience could be smoother, and the lack of full Adobe Flash support kind of misses its purpose, but still we'd take it any day before Android 2.1. The phone does good photographs in daylight, and an average job when the lights are dim. Overall, a decent Android 2.2 handset by LG, which might deserve its Chic moniker if you are a black-on-chrome design aficionado.

If you are looking for alternatives, the HTC Gratia (HTC Aria in the US) has the same specs, but is running the previous version of Android and has a smaller battery. The Sony Ericsson Xperia X8 or the Samsung Galaxy 3 could also be considered, but only if the price is lower, since both have 3MP cameras and smaller batteries than the LG Optimus Chic.

LG Optimus Chic Video Review:


  • Simple and appealing design
  • Good 5MP camera
  • ThinkFree Office for editing documents


  • The navigational buttons are not sensitive enough
  • The phone is a bit on the heavy side
  • Froyo browser doesn't support Adobe Flash

PhoneArena Rating:


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